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- Renting in Manhattan
- Apartment Safety Checklist
Walls and Ceilings
- No holes
- No loose or peeling paint/wallpaper
- No cracked or missing plaster
- Dwelling appears to be structurally sound
- No visible insulation or wiring
- Adequate service provided
- Two outlets per habitable space
- Wiring properly installed and maintained
- Equipment and appliances properly installed and safely maintained
Floors, Doors and Windows
- Floors should be structurally sound, clean and in good condition
- Doors should be easily opened from the inside and not blocked
- Windows are required to be at least one 4-square-foot minimum opening area and 48" or less above the floor in sleeping rooms and one per habitable space (except bathrooms), and open freely with no damage or broken glass
Conduct a safety check of your kitchen for the following items:
- A kitchen sink in every dwelling unit.
- The kitchen sink is equipped with hot and cold running water.
- Faucets, drains and pipes are free of drips and leaks.
- Wastewater drain pipe and water supply lines are free of cross connections.
- No direct connection between private and City of Manhattan water supply.
- Kitchen has at least two electrical outlets.
- Floor surface is clean and sanitary.
- Floor is in good repair.
Avoid these common oversights or you'll likely attract roaches, mice and other unsavory roommates:
- Leaving dirty dishes in the sink and around the home.
- Unrepaired cracked floor covering.
- Allowing stoves and refrigerators to harbor food bits/grime.
- Leaving garbage in open containers.
- Accumulation of grease and dirt on walls and ceilings.
All bathrooms must have:
- Moisture resistant and sanitary floors and walls
- Proper size window or mechanical ventilation
- No passageway through bathroom
- At least one electrical outlet
- Assured privacy
These bathroom plumbing fixtures must be in good working condition:
- A bathtub or shower with reliable hot and cold running water
- A lavatory/sink with reliable hot and cold running water
- A toilet (should not run constantly)
- A light
- No cross connection of waste pipe and water supply lines
- No dripping faucets or leaks in drains or pipes
Be aware of electrical appliances near plumbing fixtures. The result could be hazardous to your health.
If the basement is occupied:
- It must have emergency egress and windows (approved size for bedrooms)
- It must have an exterior door or emergency egress window in each bedroom that is at least 4 square feet (openable) in area with no more than 48 inches from finished floor to sill.
- Walls should be waterproof.
- There should be no cross-connection of wastewater and fresh water pipes.
- Faucet on sinks and tub should be higher than the basin rim.
- The water heater should be properly vented, have a temperature and press relief valve installed with extension tube, and have proper combustion air.
- The heating system should be capable of maintaining habitable rooms at 65 degrees, have ducts and vents in good condition, and have proper combustion air — not to be taken directly from sleeping rooms or bathrooms.
- Keep flammables away from the heating system and away from the water heater.
- Is it well lit?
- Are the handrails/guardrails secure and in good condition?
- Are the steps sturdy and solid?
- The electrical system must be properly grounded.
- Extension cords should not be used as permanent wiring.
- Electrical panels need to be covered and labeled.
- Fuses and breakers must be properly sized to handle the electrical demands of the household.
It is important to periodically check your home's foundation, chimneys and weather-stressed structures. A good place to begin your home inspection is outside. As you walk around the perimeter of the building, take notes of what you observe. Be sure to check the following items:
- Is the address easily readable from the street?
- Are walls watertight and intact?
- Are windows operable, unbroken, watertight and screened?
- Are doors watertight and hinges and latches operable?
- Inspect paint to see if it is weather resistant and not peeling.
- Steps must be in safe condition and must have handrails when there are more than four risers.
- Decks must have guard railings if the deck is more than 30 inches high.
- Are there supports and railings for porches, and are they structurally sound?
- Foundation must be structurally sound and free of defects such as cracking. Drainage should be directed away from the foundation.
- Check the roof for sagging, excessive layers of shingles, curled or missing shingles, and limbs hanging over the roof.
- Is the chimney secure? Check for cracks or movement. Inspect fireplaces annually.
Potential Exterior Nuisances
- Is the yard clean and well maintained?
- Are there abandoned refrigerators, furniture or other appliances stored in the yard or alley?
- Are weeds and grass cut so they are shorter than 12 inches?
- Are sidewalks and driveways kept free of obstructions?
- Are sheds, garages, fences and walls maintained?
- Be sure vehicles are parked on a driveway surface, are operable and currently tagged (except those stored within enclosed structures).